No one ever died in the South—
they simply passed away.
Her son hadn’t been killed,
she had lost him in an accident.
When she wished him away from Heaven
and back to Earth,
it was only hope she experienced—
the hem of his coat as he went out the door,
the sound of his footsteps in the hall after a night out,
the smell of Axe that lingered in his bedroom.
In every sense but the physical,
he was there,
but the tragedy was that his memory
lived on in the form of a shadow
in which her daughter lived.
Her husband had been an illusionist,
playing credit card tricks,
pulling Playboy bunnies out of hats,
& penetrating her with knives
only she felt, but no one could see.
He was a Houdini who bound not himself,
with the ties of matrimony.
Before she got to pull her disappearing trick,
he finished her off with his
I Get it Well Done
I get all my meat well done
because I like my protein
like I like my lovemaking–
because anything less
isn’t medium rare,
only half done.
What is This, This American Dream?
For though many believed it had to be worked for to attain,
she knew that she had awakened in it,
and spent the rest of her life trying to attain the reality.
The Other Side of Heaven
She’d been counseled on what not to drink, wear, or write,
and so she’d found herself drinking without pleasure,
wearing more and writing less.
When she was 16
& saw all the pretty young girls
on TV who disappeared,
she thought of herself.
When she was 36
& saw the same still happening—
their once lovely flesh as cold as ice,
or brittle as ash,
their lovely bones sometimes
she thought of her daughter,
many years down the dark road,
knowing there would come a day
when she would have to let her go
to find her own way,
praying that no one would be
waiting for her
or happen upon her
to stop her.